ST. LOUIS — Businesses have started to reopen around St. Louis on the first day restrictions have eased.
"This is a risky time," St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said during her briefing Monday afternoon. "We have to work really hard, as we are opening some businesses today, to make sure we are physically distancing."
Businesses, including restaurants and personal service businesses like barbershops and hair salons, are allowed to open. However, other businesses, like fitness centers and banquet halls, must remain closed for now.
Krewson said city officials will visit businesses that are not compliant and issue warnings.
The city also has ordered an additional 100,000 COVID-19 tests.
"We are pushing forward to have a lot of additional testing," she said.
While Krewson encouraged people to wear masks, she said she will not make them mandatory, saying it would be difficult to enforce.
Krewson said city hall will likely reopen to the public on June 1. Until then, people can take care of city business online.
As of May 18, there have been 1,683 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 100 people have died. Also, 45 people are being quarantined due to exposure, according to the city's website.
Krewson said she is closely watching two metrics, which will indicate how COVID-19 is impacting the region: the percentage of people who test positive and the number of new hospital admissions. She said both metrics have shown downward trends.
Currently, there are about 30 new hospital admissions per day. About a month ago, there were about 50 new hospital admissions per day.